Slip/Trip & Fall (unsafe conditions on property)

An unsafe condition is one, such as a hidden hole, hidden break in cement, or a broken handrail, etc., that causes you to lose your balance or trip and fall, causing injury.

What are the elements of a slip/trip and fall case?

If you slip/trip and fall and are injured because of an unsafe condition on property, you will have to show:

  • The owner of the property was negligent in dealing with the condition—that is, that the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition on the property and failed to repair it (or if repaired, it was repaired in a way that did not fix or made the condition worse), rope it off, or warn of the condition;
  • The negligence caused your injury.

Examples: In each of the following, if the property owner had notice of the condition and failed to do anything about it (or took action but did so in a way that failed to adequately address the condition), the injured person may be able to recover for slip/trip and fall.

  • You are in an office building, and the lobby floor has a crack in it; you catch your shoe on the crack and fall, damaging your knee.
  • You are walking down a flight of stairs in a theatre and lose your balance. You reach for the railing, which is not securely attached to the wall, causing you to fall down the stairs, injuring yourself.
  • You are in a car dealership, where the owner has laid carpet. The carpet is not securely fastened to the floor. You trip on edge of the carpet and injure yourself.
  • You park your car inside a lot in a marked spot. There are no signs warning that the pavement inside the lot is broken and dangerous. When you open your door and step onto the pavement, you land in a hole, spraining your ankle.

Note that in any of the above cases, if the property owner does not have notice of a dangerous condition or could not have known about the condition, it can be difficult to prove negligence in failing to address the condition.

I have been injured in a slip/trip and fall:

  • Notify the property owner immediately or ASAP
  • Seek medical attention and otherwise document your claims
  • Your time to sue is limited; contact an experienced personal injury lawyer

Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service with the help and assistance of volunteer legal editors, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or to substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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